Altered journal

altered art, art, collage, DIY, mixed media, recycled products

I have a god-daughter turning 17 soon; 🎁 time. So, I decided to make her a journal and pair it with a beautiful fountain pen.

The considerations for functionality, were, to put it mildly, bloody annoying!
Have you every tried to write on a bumpy, uneven surface? Not one of the most pleasurable, or easy of tasks. I needed to keep the cover as flat as possible and not use any bulky embellishments in the cover’s construction.

And so…frustratingly, my usual creation and layering process had to be repressed.

Definitely not an easy business, for when I create, I completely lose myself in the ‘flow’. Hopelessly, I succumb to my artistic state and then I am lost to it and in it. However, this time, I had to resist and stand a little further back from the lure of the ‘flow’ and so, I had to ‘do’ less and ‘think’ more…oh, the horror.

(Back Cover)

(Inner front page)

The personality of an artist…

altered art, art, collage, DIY, installation, mixed media, painting, recycled products, recycled wood

When someone I hold dear, asks me for something of the arty persuasion, they truly know, not, what they do.
[…] because:
a) I have trouble saying that word…you know, that word, the one opposite to ‘no’.
b) I don’t, ever, ever, ever, ever do things by halves. In fact, I may be known to go, well & truly, over-board. All of the times.

Soooo, one of my teacher friends wanted a name plaque/artwork proclaiming the title of the room’s occupant.
However, maybe, just maybe, the required function of this object, may have (just a touch…) gotten way-laid; and when I say way-laid, I mean, gone beyond all hope.
Oh, well.

Just say no…to the white canvas.

art, collage, recycled products, recycled wood

I recently demolished a VERY old Jarrah chest-of-drawers; it was over a 100 years old. Wait, before you start, It was very broken & rickety…don’t worry, I’m not a complete heathen!
But I didn’t throw out a single scrap or even a splinter. There’s some quite large boards, all beautifully stained & distressed from a century of use.
Such a perfect blank canvas for me.
Soooo, what to do, what to do?!
Well, I guess I’ll just start, here goes…


art, collage, installation, recycled products, recycled wood, sculpture

Mixed Media; Collage on wooden palette

Artists are elusive creatures. Her chaotic, crazy, impulsive brain is the birth place of many weird & wonderful ideas; the wholeprocess is a little bit magical really.

No one can quantify the creative brain. It remains a mystery to the other 98% inhabiting this planet, alongside those that create.

How would an artist go about explaining their process verbally? Are there words that adequately describe the electric tang of creation? How would one visually represent, symbolically represent the artist?Their process? The ‘Genesis’ of creation?

Found Objects, Mixed Media;

art, collage, installation, recycled products, sculpture

GENESIS’ work-in-progress (2018)

MIXED MEDIA: found-object sculptural installation.

Once the composition is finished, I’ll ensure everything is painted one of the many shades of pitch-black, effectively tying all the different aspects together.

Then I’ll buff, burnish and accent till my heart’s content (*hint: it’s never content…)
And using rhinestones to finish it off; adding a little twinkley-sparkle, and then, because I, well, always… will add just a touch more. Because I can’t help myself. And yes, I’m aware of what I am…

…the artistic hoarding process…

art, drawing, tutorial


As an artist…I am guilty of secret hoarding; a universal happening of ‘just-in-case’. So, when I spied the department of one of my colleagues (essentially engaging in criminal behaviour), binning an invaluable product…well, I was aghast! I had caught them in a blasphemous act, disposing piles of newspapers. Newspapers??? Who cares? Right?! Well, these newspapers were gold; printed more than a hundred years ago.

There are all these tutorials for ageing, staining, & distressing paper…and yet, here were papers that wore a hundred years; beautifully bedraggled & perfectly tainted with time.


The edges had crumbled away; they were so fragile, that they crackled in protest, if you so much as looked at them sideways.

Clearly my interest gleamed on my face and so, as humans are want to do…if interest is shown, well, interest is warranted. However, I silver-tongued and wrangled my way into possession of the vast majority.

I cackled like Golem. My precious.

With glee, I skipped home with my newly acquired treasure. So excited…and then, nothing…but, I had them, stored safely; for ‘just-in-case’.

…and today? Is, one of those cases. I spend hours, upon hours; followed by afull day and wait…another one too.

‘Where was I? Oh, yeah…’

…days staining, dyeing, distressing & otherwise completely bastardising; rendering the white canvas completely unrecognisable…all to, create my own version of a blank canvas. Half my life wiled away, just to end up…right at the beginning. FML.

All this, however, wasn’t part of my grand artistic plan; as, I had completely forgotten about my vintage bounty, and it was only by happenstance that I stumbled upon their existence. Again. And, so, I started cutting them up (with my husband protesting loudly, about the sacrilegious nature of my actions…).

Considerations of the paper’s fragility and transient nature needs to be addressed; and, so, each piece needs o be supported and mounted. The mounting process involves glue of some description; with the super absorbent state of the paper, this meant that I needed to be extra careful about my choice, as the chosen glue could impact the end surface of the intended canvas & affect the adhesion of the medium.

Also, the paper’s fragility means that choosing the point size of the pen/pencil becomes a consideration, as the finer a point, the more likely it will cut the paper, all the way through to the backing.

The rich, authentic discolouration of the paper is, well…exquisite. The existing base colour will impact your choice of colour palette; as you can use the existing canvas colour as a representation of skin. So, consideration of paint opacity isn’t necessary; however, you must use thin, lightly coloured washes, building up the colour in layers.

The last consideration is unusual…read through the text of your chosen piece of newsprint, as some of the treatments & tinctures available at the turn of the 20thC are, concerningly curious…